When might we be justified in taking a day off from work when we only have a relative handful of really important work days?
Professional football players in Canada have a maximum of 21 games every year. I have frequently been mildly surprised when one of them is allowed to miss a game because of a family matter, such as the illness or death of a grandparent.
In the NHL, the regular season is just over 80 games and Andrew Ladd who is captain of the Winnipeg Jets recently missed his first game in three years. It was to be with his wife Brandi when their daughter was born.
Troy Westwood who kicked footballs for the Blue Bombers for a lot of years, stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest on Twitter. He questioned why Andrew should get any kind of ‘paternity leave’ when his team was still fighting for a playoff spot.
The response that Westwood received was fairly evenly divided, but it was an interesting discussion. Generally we’re talking about events of great joy or great sadness interrupting our normal schedule.
Five years ago, Liam Neeson lost his wife Natasha Richardson when she was injured in a freak skiing accident in Quebec. Neeson was making a movie in Toronto, and he kept on working after taking only a few days to grieve with his children. Recently he said the pain of grief is still very real, and perhaps he should have taken more time to deal with it.
I only became a father once in this life, and it was the greatest joy I have ever known. I was awfully glad that I didn’t have to put together a newscast or cover a city council meeting that day. Lighten up Troy, and think about what’s really important in this world.
I’m Roger Currie